In 2009, I knew AP Style inwards, backwards and forwards. I knew how to write award winning news articles. I knew how to create a newspaper and magazine layout from scratch and I knew my way around Adobe InDesign (I still hate working in picas, even though I know it's far more precise). I knew how to put together press kits, create pitch letters that wouldn't just end up in an editor's junk box. I was trained in my formal education to not only write, but write well and alter public perception in the process. I was trained to launch multi-pronged branding campaigns. But then I got out of school and realized something horrible: I hated PR with a passion. Internal marketing to me, is not nearly as effective as external (radio campaigns, billboards, TV broadcast advertising). So maybe it's my bad. There was all this pressure to pick a field and and end goal, and I chose wrong the first time. But I did end up under the same umbrella of the communications field at the very least.
I don't utilize one single, solitary thing that I learned in college. But the surprisng factor is that many of my colleagues at the station are in the same boat. Psych majors, English majors ... I'm 99.9% positive they're not using a darn thing they learned in their formal education, either. I would imagine they perhaps feel a little bit frustrated in that sense, too. The addage that it doesn't matter what your degree is in so long as you have it still holds true in this world ... although employers seem to prefer if your degree field was somewhat related to the open position. I was a Communications major, with a vested interest in all things print. Now? I work in Broadcast Sales. I don't write press releases. I don't edit news articles or copy-edit a 20 page publication anymore. I don't edit B-roll. Sales is not something they taught in the Comm Program at CSU Fullerton ... and maybe they should have.